When Clayton County teacher Shekema Silveri won the Milken award last month, the most prestigious prize in education, another teacher commented to me, “That’s her ticket to a better job anywhere she wants.”
Silveri won’t be cashing in that ticket, saying she is where she was called to be — with students who thrive on her love and support.
“I want students who actually appreciate a teacher who loves them,” she says. “I would not be in my element in a school where students said, ‘I don’t need a teacher to love me because I have two parents and a nanny.’”
Silveri’s deep affection for her students at Mount Zion High School in Jonesboro takes many forms, from cautioning them at the start of the weekend, “Come back to me safely. I love you,” to daily texts to a teen whose mother died three years ago, “Good morning princess, God loves you, and so do I,” to shopping for